In a major setback to Bathinda-based Adesh University, the Punjab and Haryana high court has observed that the university had done illegal provisional counselling on June 24 in “undue haste” for its 250 medical seats (150 MBBS and 100 BDS), besides slapping a fine of Rs. 16.8 lakh for its “illegal action”.
Justice GS Sandhawalia, while dismissing Adesh University’s petition challenging the Punjab government’s June 16 order barring it from independent counselling, ordered on Thursday that the university should pay Rs. 20,000 each to the 84 candidates (total Rs. 16.8 lakh) admitted by it provisionally, apart from refunding their admission fee.
Justice Sandhawalia also observed that Adesh University not only “disturbed the centralised counselling” to be conducted by the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS), Faridkot, for all medical institutions in the state but also “tried to overreach this court.” Putting its stamp on the centralised counselling conducted by BFUHS, the court said Adesh University should not have done counselling when its statute was pending approval before the Punjab government.
Govt took note of HT report
The Hindustan Times news ‘At Rs. 40 lakh per MBBS seat, Adesh varsity charges 20-fold’ (June 11) had highlighted that the university was charging Rs. 40 lakh per MBBS seat, which is 20 times the fees fixed by the government. Taking a note of it, the Punjab government had on June 16 stopped the university from counselling and ordered BFUHS to conduct centralised counselling.
Adesh University had challenged the state government’s June 16 order before the high court on June 19 and blamed the state government for causing hindrance in the university’s admission process by not finalising its statute as well as the first ordinance submitted to the government authorities on October 10, 2012, and May 14 this year, respectively. The university had submitted that it was a fully autonomous body and could do independent counselling, apart from fixing its own fee.
However, the state government had taken the stand that Adesh University could not conduct independent counselling for its seats as long as its statute and ordinance were pending clearance before the state government. The state had submitted that only BFUHS was the competent authority for conducting centralised counselling for medical admissions.
June 11: HT highlights illegal fee charged by Adesh University
June 16: Punjab government bars university from counselling, seeks reply
June 19: Adesh University challenges state govt’s order in HC
June 21: BFUHS admits 102 MBBS candidates for Adesh University seats
June 23: HC allows Adesh to conduct provisional counselling
June 24: Adesh admits 84 candidates in provisional counselling
July 23: HC orders Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS), Faridkot, to conduct 2nd counselling for Adesh; allows Adesh’s counselled candidates to appear in BFUHS counselling
July 31: HC holds Adesh varsity’s June 24 counselling illegal, slaps Rs. 16.8 lakh fine
State medical quota
On July 2, justice GS Sandhawalia, while granting a major relief to hundreds of MBBS/BDS aspirants aiming for admissions in Punjab’s medical institutes, had ruled that passing of Class 10, along with classes 11 and 12, from Punjab schools, as decided by the Punjab government, is not mandatory to be eligible for its 85% state medical quota.